This book explores Goethe's ethics of happiness and the role of resignation within them. Prandi has carefully separated autobiographical material from literary expository of these themes in order to clarify the misunderstanding that has resulted from relying on Goethe's fictional works to document his personal ethical convictions. The book aims in part at working out in detail the usefulness of Spinoza's Ethics in evaluating ethical views expressed in poetry and fiction; and in part at correcting erroneous and confused ideas about Goethean resignation. Prandi studies the 'natural morality' Goethe developed and practiced, using Lucretius and Spinoza as models of influence. All three define the good as what makes people rationally happy; each has his own resignation model to offer. From a deep analysis of views on happiness and resignation, the author's discussion leads to some surprising new conclusions.